12 Oct 2015
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In its 50th anniversary year, and at a time when our global heritage is ever more under threat of destruction, ICOMOS-UK (the UK National Committee of ICOMOS: International Council on Monuments and Sites) is calling for a new approach to the way we all sustain, promote and benefit from cultural heritage through the launch of its landmark Cultural Heritage Manifesto.

The ICOMOS-UK Cultural Heritage Manifesto considers that cultural heritage should be embedded in all aspects of sustainable development, and a major part of resilience in society. It is calling on government, universities, and the built environment professions to support and campaign for strategies, plans and development initiatives to be ‘cultural heritage proofed’. It also proposes that cultural heritage should be at the centre of decision-making about our society, communities and the environment.

The Manifesto was launched at the major international conference ‘Mainstreaming Cultural Heritage: Global Approaches’, held at the London offices of the engineering and design consultancy Arup, on Thursday 22 October 2015. The Keynote Speaker, His Highness the Aga Khan, explained and highlighted the importance of an integrated, multi-sector approach to cultural heritage and development as reflected in the work of the Aga Khan Development Network, an approach which is a key theme of the ICOMOS-UK Manifesto.

Other leading heritage speakers included Dame Fiona Reynolds, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Erminia Sciacchitano, Policy Officer, Culture, Heritage, Economy of Culture at the European Union. The conference was opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO, Patron of ICOMOS-UK.

During the conference, delegates explored and debated actions to implement the Manifesto’s aims over the next five years. ICOMOS-UK will be taking forward the Manifesto through its unique position as the UK arm of an international mission to promote and support best practice in the conservation, care and understanding of the historic environment.

Susan Denyer, Secretary, ICOMOS-UK, commented: “Cultural heritage is part of who we are, both individually and collectively, and has a profound impact on lives; but to deliver its full potential in guiding sustainable development, cultural heritage must be a cross-cutting theme, embedded in all the plans and policies that guide that development.”

The Cultural Heritage Manifesto is available to download here

For further information or high-res copies of images:

Sarah Yates, ICOMOS-UK: sarahyates@icomos-uk.org